Kristi Loucks of Today’s Slapshot writes today on the emerging speculation surrounding Buffalo Sabres’ prospect Jimmy Vesey, who can become an unrestricted free agent on August 15th, when his draft rights expire, and the Chicago Blackhawks. We’ve discussed before the talk surrounding Vesey and the Blackhawks, and the news that Stan Bowman has been going to Foxboro, Massachusetts to watch Vesey play summer games.
Loucks mentions the Boston Bruins, Buffalo Sabres, Detroit Red Wings, Edmonton Oilers, Philadelphia Flyers, and Toronto Maple Leafs as other teams that will be in the running for Vesey’s services. In season-long speculation involving Vesey, his ties to Sabres’ forward Jack Eichel are often brought up, as are his having been raised in Boston, and the fact that his father Jim is a scout for the Leafs, and his brother Nolan is a Leafs prospect himself.
Loucks discusses the benefits available in Chicago for Vesey. Obviously they’re a legitimate contender, having won the Stanley Cup three times this decade, but they’re unique for a contender in that they offer a large amount of playing time immediately for a young player. The Blackhawks aren’t particularly deep at left wing, and assuming Calder Trophy winner Artemi Panarin stays on the second line with Artem Anisimov and Patrick Kane, Vesey could find the opportunity to play top minutes with future Hall of Fame linemates in Jonathan Toews and Marian Hossa.